Part 4 of the Why, Who, How, When and Where series on Bed Bugs
WHEN do I know I have a Bed Bug problem?
Previously, we discussed How we ended up with this problem, but ultimately, you need to know when you have the problem.
Adult bed bugs are the size of an apple seed. The bugs are wingless and possess a flat, oval body that is generally brown in color (though immature bed bugs are translucent) with bands of small hairs that give the bug the appearance of having stripes. They live exclusively off of the blood of warm-blooded mammals (us) and other animals, and often live in nests or bedding so that they can bite their victims as they sleep. They tend to be most active approximately an hour before dawn, biting their victims with a mouthpiece made up of two tubes that inject them with saliva to prevent clotting and then suck the blood from the wound. OK…so that’s pretty gross.
You know WHEN you have been bitten when you notice bites similar to mosquito bites, usually in a grouping of three. You know WHEN you have a mattress infestestion when, upon pulling away your fitted sheet and inspecting the seams of your mattress, usually in the corners, you notice brown or red spots. The brown spots are bug excrement and the red indicate a crushed bug. You may also find exoskeletons, as Bed Bugs shed about 5 times during their lifetime. Ew, ew, ew…
Depending upon the extent of the infestation, you may opt to just get rid of the old mattress and box spring and start anew (invest in a bed bug proof mattress protector and bed bug proof box spring protector to help avert this scenario). Since I am getting itchy just writing this blog, I think I would likely spring (no pun intended) for the new mattress and box spring.